MUV-e folding scooter inches closer to release
Back in May last year, the My Urban Vehicle project introduced us to a folding electric scooter prototype that was to go into production by the end of 2013. Development continued beyond that deadline, however, and now a new fully-functional pre-production version of the MUV-e has been revealed ahead of release next year.
The three-wheeled electric scooter has been designed to automatically fold up into a suitcase-sized trolley in around 3 seconds for roll-along, between ride transport. The new MUV-e tips the scales at 14 - 18 kg, depending on the version chosen, and features an aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, with carbon fiber covers. A cradle for a smartphone has also been included, where the ubiquitous mobile device can be used as a navigation aid and, with the help of a companion app (Android initially, with iOS following later), act as a speedometer, odometer and electrometer.
The developers have increased the range of a fully-charged MUV-e to 30 km (19 miles), depending on riding style and battery size (the vehicle will be available in 8.5 or 17Ah Li-ion battery configurations). There are two 12.5-inch alloy wheels to the front and a 10-inch wheel and a 140 mm disc brake at the back, and its two-speed, 36 V brushless hub motor is reported capable of powering the personal mobility machine to a peak speed of 32 km/h (20 mph).
Roadix Urban Transportation has been working on the development of a tilting suspension which includes a "unique self-centering mechanism," though we'll have to wait until we get closer to release time for more details on that aspect. Steering is undertaken "intuitively by turning its handlebars and tilting like on a bike."
The company says that the first MUV-e scooters could be made available to select markets in 3 - 6 months for a suggested retail starting price of US$2,000.
If that sounds a bit beyond your budget, look out for rental kiosks popping up too. Though details are a little light, each pay per use MUVe-n-Go station can hold up to 20 folded e-scooters and will feature an optional integrated photovoltaic recharging system.
Update December 26 2014: CEO and Roadix founder Amir Zaid has revealed a bit more detail on that patent-pending tilting mechanism.
"It is based on gas shocks that controls the movement of the floating parallelogram shape," he told us. "The special design will allow up to 25 degrees of tilting to each side while helping the rider to return easily to vertical position with no electrical gizmos, just pure mechanics. The ride can be easy and relaxed on the one hand, but in a different mode, can also require almost full body involvement, hands for the steering, legs for tilting and soon you find yourself gliding on the streets with an unexplained smile on your face."
Source: Roadix Urban Transportation